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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
August 20, 2010
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Publication Date: 
May 28, 1981
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00552R000606730005-6.pdf79.97 KB
Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/20: CIA-RDP90-00552R000606730005-6 ARTICLE APPEARED ON PAGEr THE WASHINGTON POST 28 May 1981 Defeue, Prosectition Ltelier Trial presentations ' Washington Poetstatt Wrlter'=: The retrial of two anti-Castro Cubans accused of murder in: the X976 assassination of Orlando Lete- her drew to a close in U.S. District.Couit yesterday .;'_'prosecution and ' defense lawyers -:focused- their final arguments on Michael Vernon; Townley, the. key government witness who testified That he orga-_ nixed the plot to kill Letelier. `,Assistant U.S: Attorney E. Lawrence Barcella Jr., fold the jury that telephone and travel records, an address book, letters, receipts, other-documents and components to explode a bomb, all of which were obtained by federal investigators - iri'the case, sup- port Townley's testimony that he-recruited the- Cu- bans to help him: carry out the. murder -on orders froin the Chilean secrets police-'once known as 'JJefense lawyers Paul G'oldberger 'and Lawrence A;- Dubin 'described Townley, an. American-born. 1)INA agent, as a' polished\liar who,:, still acting on, orders from DINA; cooperated with U.S. prosecutors only after he was instructed by Chilean officials to.' iplicate the 'Cubans., The defense' contends the' assassination .was -carried out, by Townley, DINA' and Chile alone. Letelier, a former Chilean ambassador, 'was a vig- oirous, outspoken opponent of the military regime of" Augusto Pinochet,'which -took over the' Chilean gbv- rnment during 'bloody coup in' 1973. Townley - testified that Chilean military officers told him Le- telier had to be killed and ordered him to have the.- Cubans carry out the plot to insulate the- Pinochet'" government from any culpability., r... ,y::.:_.. -Townley, who ' was expelled from 'Chile in 1978 rid turned 'over to U.S. prosecutors, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder a foreign official and zs-se rving'a sentence of 3'/z to 10 years. :~~Letelier. and' an associate, Ronni Karpen Moffitt, were. killed -on Sept. 21,1976, when a bomb explod- ~d:under'Letelier's car as it-rounded Sheridan Circle on-Embassy Row.- The two defendants, ',Guillermo Novo : Sampol. and Alvin Ross Diaz, :were charged-. with . murder".and. conspiracy along'.with."two other. Cubans, both-of whom are fugitives. Novo and Ross were convicted of murder and conspiracy charges in 1979, . but they. were granted: a new trial on appeal. Three Chilean 'military men; including Juan Manuel Contreras'Sepulvada, once the head of DINA, also were indicted in the murders, but the Chilean courts refused td extradite them. "=The prosecution contends that Chilean' officials, ;tinder intense pressure from the United States. in connection with the' Letelier case, told Townley to tell the truth- about the killings. But defense attorney Dubin told the jury of eight women and -four men that the prosecution "needed -somebodies" to try. Townley, whose wife and chil dren still live in Chile, went along with the ground rules set up by the Chilean government so that he could assure his return to his family and way of life there, Dubin said. The jury is expected to begin deliberations today. Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/08/20: CIA-RDP90-00552R000606730005-6